BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- NASA has announced plans to give away its space shuttles once they retire in the year 2010, according to media reports Friday.
The space agency plans to donate space shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian museum, and give the others to "educational institutions, science museums, and other appropriate organizations."
"These are national assets, national treasures and something that NASA feels the public would want to see displayed publicly for years to come," NASA spokesman Michael Curie said.
The agency is going to be taking applications from those interested until March 17, 2009.
It will look at all of the applicants and base its decision on who has the ability to actually display the space shuttle, have the funds for the upkeep, and so on.
The owners will need to stump up an estimated 42 million U.S. dollars in decommissioning and delivery charges for a shuttle.